A Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 people passengers and crew, including two infants, on-board seemingly vanished early Saturday morning after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. Two oil slicks found in the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam is suspected of being part of a crashed plane.
"An AN26 aircraft of the Vietnam Navy has discovered an oil slick about 20 kilometers in the search area, which is suspected of being a crashed Boeing aircraft," said Lai Xuan Thanh, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam. "We have announced that information to Singapore and Malaysia and we continue the search."
Malaysia Airlines announced that an international search and rescue mission was mobilized for Boeing 777, which was en route to Beijing. Meanwhile, families of passengers are expecting the worst. more >>
Some of Singapore's biggest megachurches are seeking to expand their ministry on a global scale and engage the U.S. faith community, amid allegations of prosperity gospel teachings and misuse of church funds.
"We want to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth," said Pastor Bobby Chaw, the missions director of City Harvest Church, Reuters reported.
"Whatever method that can most effectively convey the message to our generation, we will do it," added Chaw, who is also the vice chairman of City Harvest's management board. more >>
John Short, the 75-year-old Christian missionary who was recently freed from imprisonment in North Korea, said remembering Bible scriptures helped him through his "grueling" 13-day investigation by government authorities.
"There were two-hour sessions each morning, which were repeated again in the afternoons," Short, originally from South Australia, told the Australian Associated Press, adding that he was also kept under 24-hour guard watch for the duration of his imprisonment.
The 75-year-old Christian missionary, who has resided in Hong Kong since 1964, told the news agency that the interrogations were especially difficult because he is an avid walker, and being forced to sit in an enclosed room all day really took a toll on his physical health. "This I found to be most painful physically as an active senior person," he said. "I missed my freedom to walk very much." more >>
Brunei's teachers and principals are reportedly threatened with prison time and punishment if they teach or speak to Muslim children about religions others than Islam, due to the country's upcoming implementation of Sharia law, which will also apply to Muslim children who attend Christian schools.
Fides News Agency noted on Thursday that starting April, it will be a crime to "persuade, influence, incite, encourage a child with non-Islamic teaching," as well as to "expose the child to any ceremony or act of worship which is not Islamic or allow the child to participate in activities for the benefit of other religions," with offending teachers facing five years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
The local Catholic Church said the restrictions will also be applied to Christians schools attended by Muslim students. more >>
North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong Un has reportedly ordered the execution of 33 people for converting to Christianity and receiving money from a South Korean Baptist missionary to start 500 underground churches.
An unidentified source told The Chosunilbo that the 33 converts will be executed in a secret cell at the State Security Department on charges that they were trying to overthrow North Korea's regime by establishing the underground churches.
Kim Jung Wook, the Baptist missionary involved in the affair, was reportedly arrested for allegedly trying to plant the underground churches last year. more >>
A 75-year-old Australian missionary, John Short, who was arrested in North Korea last month allegedly due to his Christian work, reached Beijing Monday after he was released by authorities. American Christian Kenneth Bae remains in a labor camp despite his illness.
Short was received at a Beijing airport by Australian embassy officials Monday, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.
"The Government has confirmed through the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang that Mr. Short has been released and was being deported from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement. "Clearly this is welcome news for Mr. Short, his family and his supporters. Australian consular officials stand ready to provide assistance to Mr. Short to ensure he can return to his home in Hong Kong as soon as possible." more >>